If you’ve had the chance to participate in structured PvP or World versus World, then you’re probably already familiar with the various methods of crowd control in the game. Each of them is perfect for disrupting your opponent, and each of them can mean the difference between victory and waiting to respawn. If you’ve been on the wrong side of some, then you already know what I mean.
But what if there was a way to ignore most of these effects? What if you could shrug them off, making your enemy waste his most precious abilities?
Sound good? Then read on!
Stability is the unsung hero of all boons. It doesn’t pack the punch of Fury or Might. It isn’t fast like Swiftness, and it won’t heal you like Regeneration. If boons were superheroes, Stability would be Aquaman, often overlooked, but highly effective in the right situation.
Stability provides you with temporary immunity to most crowd control effects, allowing you to completely ignore the effects of any stun, knockback, launch, knockdown, sink, float, pull or daze for as long as it lasts. If you’re surrounded by 5 enemies who each try to knock you down or stun you, then all 5 abilities will fail so long as you are under the effects of Stability.
So the real question is, when would you benefit most from this level of relative immunity?
Have you ever been in a pitched battle in PvP and finally downed your opponent, only to be knocked back or pulled when you went in for the kill? Many downed abilities rely on crowd control effects such as this. On top of that, astute players will try everything in their power to keep you from spiking their friends when they’re down. In situations like this, your best defense is Stability. It ensures that the enemy you put down stays down.
Now flip the script. This time it’s you going in to help a downed player on your team. In this situation, enemies will often try to knock you back, pull you or otherwise impair your ability to resurrect your friend. Here again is where Stability shines. Those few, precious seconds of protection may be all you need to turn the odds back in your favor and return the fallen to the fight.
Still another potential use in PvP is for making sure you can dodge powerful burst abilities. A popular Warrior build the past couple beta weekends has been using the Frenzy utility skill with the Hundred Blades ability of the Greatsword. If the Warrior is able to stun you or knock you down, they all but ensure than you have no choice but to take the full force of this devastating combination. If you know when it’s coming, however, you can hit Stability, shrug off the stun/knockdown and then freely dodge Hundred Blades. Timing is everything, but that’s where skill and practice come into play. With Stability, you have a fighting chance.
Other players aren’t the only ones with access to disruptive and potentially deadly crowd control abilities. Some of the tougher zone bosses, dungeon bosses and higher level veteran/champion mobs can cause you serious trouble. Nothing is worse than being a split second from getting your heal off only to be knocked down and unable to fire it off in time. Having Stability in this situation can once again save your life.
Just as in PvP, there are times when running in to help a fallen ally only ends up killing you in the process. Stability can be just as effective during these crucial moments as it is on the battlefield.
As with anything this good, there’s always a catch.
The downside of Stability is that not every profession has it. Some are just more fortunate than others. The upside is that several of these abilities also apply Stability to allies, giving you the opportunity to be the hero to your friends when the moment comes. For team play, knowing who can provide it to themselves and others may determine who gets to go in for the kill on downed players or who has the job of resurrecting downed allies.
- “Stand Your Ground!” – A Shout that gives 5 seconds of Stability and 10 seconds of Retaliation to the Guardian and allies on a 30-second cooldown.
- Hallowed Ground – A Consecration what gives 10 seconds of Stability to Guardian and allies within the circle on an 80-second cooldown.
- Tome of Courage – An Elite Skill which gives 20 seconds of Stability to the Guardian on a 180-second cooldown, in addition to access to several other abilities.
- Tome of Wrath – An Elite Skill which gives 20 seconds of Stability to the Guardian on a 180-second cooldown, in addition to access to several other abilities.
- Indomitable Courage – A trait which gives 3 seconds of Stability to the Guardian when activating Virtue of Courage. Virtue of Courage has a 90-second cooldown.
- Balanced Stance – A Stance which provides the Warrior with 8 seconds of Stability on a 40 second cooldown. The Last Stand trait will proc Balanced Stance whenever the Warrior is Stunned, Knocked Down, Knocked Back, Launched, or Dazed. (Last Stand has an internal 90-second cooldown.)
- Dolyak Signet – A Signet which gives 8 seconds of Stability to the Warrior on a 60-second cooldown.
- Battle Standard – A Banner which provides 3 seconds of Stability, 3 seconds of Fury and 10 seconds of Might to the Warrior and his allies in addition to reviving downed allies. This Banner has a 240-second cooldown.
- Rampage – An Elite Skill which gives 20 seconds of Stability to the Warrior on a 180-second cooldown, in addition to access to several other abilities.
- Signet of the Wild – A Signet which grants Stability to the Ranger’s pet only
- Rampage As One – An Elite skill which gives 20 seconds of Stability, Fury and Swiftness to the Ranger and his pet, in addition to granting them Might when they attack. It has a 120-second cooldown.
- Stability Training – A trait which grants the Ranger’s ursine, porcine, or an armor fish pets 3 seconds of Stability any time they are disabled.
- Armor of Earth – A Cantrip which provides the Elementalist 8 seconds of Stability and Protection on a 90-second cooldown. The trait Earth’s Embrace procs Armor of Earth upon reaching 50% health, and also has a 90-second internal cooldown.
- Tornado – An Elite skill which gives the Elementalist 15 seconds of Stability in addition to damaging and launching foes. It has a 180-second cooldown.
- Rock Solid – A trait which gives 2 seconds of Stability to the Elementalist and his allies upon attuning to earth.
- Power Break – The secondary ability of Mantra of Concentration, it provides 5 seconds of Stability to the Mesmer. The Mantra has a 20-second cooldown.
- Lich Form – Grants the Necromancer 30 seconds of Stability in addition to access to several other abilities on a 180-second cooldown.
- Plague – An Elite skill which provides the Necromancer with 20 seconds of Stability in addition to inflicting multiple conditions and damaging his enemies. It has a 180-second cooldown.
- Foot in the Grave – A trait which gives the Necromancer 3 seconds of Stability when entering Death Shroud.
- Toss Elixir S - A tool belt skill for Elixir S with will randomly provide the Engineer and his allies with 6 seconds of either Stability or Stealth.
- Juggernaut - A trait which grants the Engineer constant Stability and and additional 200 Toughness while wielding Flamethrower. It also reduces his movement speed by 50%.
Finally, while it can’t be used in sPvP, all humans can gain Stability through the use of their Avatar of Melandru elite skill.
If this is your first time learning about Stability, I encourage you to try it out in some of the situations I mentioned. If you’re already experienced, then feel free to stop by our forums or the comments section below and tell us how you’ve managed to use it to your advantage. We’d love to hear your feedback!